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Old 09-02-2017, 10:10 PM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
The future is unwritten
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 62,923
Sept 3rd, 2017: Old Math

Quote:
A 3,700-year-old clay tablet has proven that the Babylonians developed trigonometry 1,500 years before the Greeks and were using a sophisticated method of mathematics which could change how we calculate today.
Nope, we don’t need a more sophisticated method to do trig, do you computer? Beep Boop Beep.



Quote:
The tablet, known as Plimpton 332, was discovered in the early 1900s in Southern Iraq by the American archaeologist and diplomat Edgar Banks, who was the inspiration for Indiana Jones.
The true meaning of the tablet has eluded experts until now but new research by the University of New South Wales, Australia, has shown it is the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, which was probably used by ancient architects to construct temples, palaces and canals.
However unlike today’s trigonometry, Babylonian mathematics used a base 60, or sexagesimal system, rather than the 10 which is used today. Because 60 is far easier to divide by three, experts studying the tablet, found that the calculations are far more accurate.
More accurate when working out problems manually.

Quote:
The tablet, which is thought to have come from the ancient Sumerian city of Larsa, has been dated to between 1822 and 1762 BC. It is now in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University in New York.
“Plimpton 322 predates Hipparchus by more than 1000 years,” says Dr Wildberger.
“It opens up new possibilities not just for modern mathematics research, but also for mathematics education. With Plimpton 322 we see a simpler, more accurate trigonometry that has clear advantages over our own.
“A treasure-trove of Babylonian tablets exists, but only a fraction of them have been studied yet. The mathematical world is only waking up to the fact that this ancient but very sophisticated mathematical culture has much to teach us.”
Dr Wildberger is a nerd, truly excited about finding new stuff about ancient civilizations, but overly optimistic
about this affecting our society in any way.
I don't remember Babylonians putting a man on the moon.
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